About 60 African-American students from throughout the School District of La Crosse came together Nov. 5 for a day of learning and fun, focused on building self-confidence, achieving academic excellence and getting involved in the community.
The Black Youth Summit, supported in part by a $2,000 grant from the La Crosse Public Education Foundation, was designed to bring together sixth through 10th-grade students who identify as black, biracial, or multiracial with black being one of their racial identities.
“The summit is designed to provide a safe space for students to engage in tough conversations on a variety of topics, such as race, societal pressures, and learn how they can get involved in their community in and and out of school,” said Shaundel Spivey, a cultural liaison for the School District of La Crosse.
Other sponsors of the event included: the School District of La Crosse; UW-La Crosse Multicultural Student Services; and a new organization of young professionals called Black Leaders Acquiring Collective Knowledge.
To kick off the event, Shaundel Spivey encouraged the students to read along with him as he shared a series of affirmative statements for the students to keep in mind. With a little coaching from retired teacher William Coleman, the students spoke up loud and clear, to the following:
I Am Somebody
I believe in myself and in my abilities
I can accomplish anything I set my mind towards
I can dream, I can win, I can succeed, I can do anything
I believe that I am smart enough, good enough, tough enough
To accomplish my goals and dreams
I will not settle for mediocrity
Because I am smart enough, good enough, loved enough to accomplish anything
I am somebody great
I am a King/Queen
I am somebody
RELATED MEDIA COVERAGE
Summit encourages La Crosse black, biracial, multi-racial students to persevere • La Crosse Tribune • Nov. 6, 2016 (funded by LPEF grant)
Black Youth Summit works to strengthen black community • WKBT • Nov. 5, 2016 (funded by LPEF grant)
Black Youth Summit focuses on community, sense of self • WXOW • Nov. 5, 2016 (funded by LPEF grant)